10 things no-one ever tells you about working in PR

April 1, 2008

We put our heads together here at the PR and Comms Network. Then nothing happened, so we spoke to some people, and here it is; the not-so definitive, more than slightly tongue-in-cheek list of the 10 things no-one ever lets on about working in PR. If you think we’ve missed something out dive into the comments. .. 

1] Publicity isn’t just something you aim at for clients. It’s a philosophy you live by.  And that applies to your own internal PR as much as any client.

2] The glory is never yours. It’s the spokesperson’s, the client’s, the agency’s, the account director’s… then it might be yours. If there’s any left over.

3] Playing on Facebook and blogs would prove useful in the end. Yep, digital is the future, just in case you’d been allowed to forget.

4] You should like living in London. Otherwise your job prospects might be somewhat reduced.

5] Wacky creativity? Indulged with lip service. Outstanding personal organisation? Rewarded with advancement.

6] Whatever it is you thought ‘my God I couldn’t bear to work in that sector’ ;that’s what you’ll end up working on. It’s sod’s law, but true. Hate finance? Hello city calendar work. Technophobe? Welcome to consumer-tech PR.

7] Accountants and Lawyers look down upon your profession. How this reversal of fortune from your previous scorn for their boring jobs occurred is not at all evident.

8] No-one will actually understand what your job involves, achieves, or demands. Quite possibly you never will yourself..

9] Actually the boys aren’t all gay, the girls aren’t all pretty, and virtually no-one is glamorous. Disappointing for many.

10] Why can’t people understand that your industry is not a verb? ‘To PR’ never appeared in any dictionary I possessed.

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9 Responses to “10 things no-one ever tells you about working in PR”

  1. Hugh Says:

    I believe the answer to the question you pose in point no. 7 can be found in point no.8…

  2. alaindesmier Says:

    I was the glamorous exception…

  3. Emily Says:

    Point 5 pains me in its perfection. Spot on.


  4. […] 10 Things No-one Ever Tells You About Working In PR I actually came across this on Strive Notes. I found it entertaining, and partly true. Number eight is my favorite. My boyfriend, parents, and friends don’t understand (other than my friends that are in PR). […]

  5. Lu T Says:

    Oi! Just had to speak up for all of us in PR who live & work outside London and still have great careers. It is possible you know!

    And point 8 – I’ve 9 years experience and still my mum thinks I just speak to the odd newspaper… “I manage reputations” is how I try to sum it up.


  6. Oh def Lu, just making the point that there are rather fewer opps, not that they’re any less enjoyable/rewarding when you sniff them out!

    And not a bad shout for the lay person’s description of working in PR- this might merit a post all of it’s won as a topic…


  7. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree that people outside of PR don’t really have a clue what we do. They tend to equate PR with BS, in far too many cases.

    If you’re interested in PR, you might want to look into joining a new social network for PR students, faculty & practitioners. See http://www.propenmic.org

  8. brittani Says:

    I am currently taking public relations in school right now and I think point 8 is quite true. When ever I tell someone I am taking PR in school they always ask oh PR what is that, what job are you going to do when you are done.

    And for point 6 – our teachers always say this is true. If you want to work agency you will end up working corporate. If you want to work corporate you will end up working not-for-profit.


  9. I agree with brittani on point 8.

    I have been studying PR at university for nearly 3 years now and I still don’t have a clue what PR is really about. There are so many aspects to it that there is no clear definition which makes it even more difficult trying to explain to other people what it is.


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